The retro style as an interior design actually encompasses several decades of styles. It is used to describe interior decorating themes that are influenced by the themes of the past, particularly from the 1950s to 1970s. It has a fun and psychedelic feel to it that needs a certain personality to pull it off. If you like loud, wild and funky, this decorating style is for you! Here are the common features of the retro decorating style:
1. Choose retro colors
The easiest way to adapt the retro style is to use retro colors. The most retro among the retro colors are avocado green – use it and it can serve as a solid base for your retro interior. Use it with mustard yellow, red, brown, bright orange, black and white. Purple and hot pink perfectly fits retro interiors too. Gold, lemon yellow, pistachio mint, turquoise, green, indigo blue, and aqua blue colors are also preferred. For a sophisticated look, mix and match pastel colors and use them with a combination of black and white. Don’t be afraid to mix a little of everything in a single item like a blanket, a rug or a sofa. Just make sure you anchor the room with a single encompassing hue, or the main color combination (for example black and white, green and orange).
2. Use colored furniture
The retro style is bold and has an abstract feel to it. Make almost all pieces fight for attention. Use broad sofas with bold color and decorate it with multi-colored throw pillows. Choose plastic for accent chairs, lamp shades, and tables, and make sure it has an unusual style. Add retro bling by picking chrome bar stools with bright red seats for dining, retro style. Place multicolor Mitt chairs and beanbag chairs for additional seating for your guests. Use ottomans with unusual shapes and colors.
3. Incorporate patterns, circles, and geometric shapes
Besides color, retro is all about shapes and patterns. Transform your boring walls with wallpapers or paint job that has large patterns, or you may have a mural painted. Use smaller and repetitive patterns featuring lines and shapes with neutral tones for a subtle approach. For the floors, the retro trademark is a mix of tiles in a checkerboard pattern. For fabrics, the common picks are tie-dyed, checkered, paisley prints and circular forms. Geometric-shaped items are favored, like round lampshades and square open shelving.
4. Experiment with textures
When it comes to retro interiors, the more texture, the better. Add texture using shag carpeting, soft vinyl, heavy draperies, crushed velvet, and smooth plastics. Be bold when it comes to your texture choices.
5. Mind the colors, shapes, and material of your appliances
A retro styled kitchen features appliances that are unique in appearance. Besides the specifications of your appliance choices, let colors, shapes, and material be included in your deciding factors. Use colored appliances that suit your kitchen color scheme, like a red oven, an avocado stovetop, and a pink fridge. Or pick chrome pieces that have rounded edges. If you really want to go retro, choose round-edged, colored appliances like the retro style Smeg refrigerators.
6. Accessorize your interior with retro style pieces
Retro accents and accessories are funky and typically unusual. Choose abstract over still-life and nature landscapes. Use door beads, lava lamps, scoop stools, skate tables, and fuzzy throw rugs. The key is to make your interior cozy and cheery. You may also bring feelings of nostalgia by displaying portraits or photos of the well-known figures of the era, like cars and technology; or of celebrities, artists, singers, music, and movies.
7. Display artworks with a retro touch
For the maximum retro feel, hang photographs, posters or artworks that have a retro touch to it. You can feature artworks showing pixel-based illustrations; neon styled photos; abstract graphic; geometric art with rich color palettes; or music themes with large discs, turntables or tapes. You can also show off posters and photos with plenty of custom typefaces like blocky slab serifs and bubble-style fonts.
8. Play with lights
Use fun retro lighting for your rooms. Square pendant lighting and lamps (floor and table) in vibrant colors are your best pick. Tasseled lamp shades are also perfect. For chandeliers, use a multi-colored one. You may also feature a disco lamp for your next Friday night house party. Remember, the retro design is a loud decorating style, so don’t try to tone it down, even with your lighting choices.